Our Strategic Director—Engagement, Chris Chesterfield, will work with community and Traditional Owners, to create the Waterways of the West Action Plan to protect rivers and waterways in Melbourne’s west. It’s another way we’re collaborating with communities to influence government policy and promote water sensitive principles and practice.

Chris will chair the Ministerial Advisory Committee preparing the action plan. This committee is tasked with identifying priority projects and areas for reform, bringing to life community expectations and local values, and protecting the rich Aboriginal heritage of these important urban waterways.

This appointment follows on from Chris’s previous role chairing a Ministerial Advisory Committee looking at the governance and management of the Yarra River, which led to significant planning and legislative reforms.

The committee will report to the Minister for Water and the Minister for Planning on a plan that:

  • develops a community vision for the rivers and their landscapes
  • recommends specific actions to protect the rivers
  • recommends ways to maintain and enhance community ownership of the river corridors.

“The west of Melbourne is one of the fastest growing urban regions in Australia. Appointing this Ministerial Advisory Committee recognises the significant contribution of waterways to the liveability, economy, environment and communities of the west”, said Chris.

The action plan will build on Victoria’s current water policy—Water for Victoria—that recognises the connection that communities and Traditional Owners have to waterways and their landscapes.

“The Waterways of the West Action Plan will guide us to take meaningful steps so our western waterways can thrive and be enjoyed as a natural treasure for future generations”, said the Minister for Water, Lisa Neville.

Speaking at the launch in August, the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne said, “Today we launch the concept for a community vision for Melbourne’s western corridor. The recreational values and health of these waterways is essential to the liveability of these neighbourhoods and the broader environment.”

The committee will report to the Ministers for Planning and Water. You can find out more about the committee and its work by emailing westernrivers.inbox@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Last updated: 11th Sep 2018